Japanese Dog Breeds – Amazing Dogs All The Way From Japan
Shiba Inu (狗猫)
The Shiba Inu is one of the most popular dog breeds in Japan. They are known for their loyalty, affection, love of family and being very loyal too. They have been bred for over 100 years to be obedient and well behaved dogs. Their size makes them ideal guard dogs or even service animals.
They are usually friendly with children and other pets.
They are sometimes called “cute” but they aren’t cute at all! The Shiba Inu is considered a working dog breed. They are used for work in many different ways such as search and rescue, police work, tracking down criminals etc. Some people consider them to be “the best of both worlds”.
There were originally only two types of Shiba Inus: the Toy type and the Show type. Now there are three main types of Shiba Inus: Toy, Show and Professional.
Toy Shiba Inu (狗猫 ヤドバイン)
These are the smallest and most common type of Shiba Inu. They are often found playing with toys, chasing rabbits or squirrels or sleeping in their kennels. These dogs tend to be playful and curious. They are also stubborn and strong willed.
These dogs are often used as companions for the elderly or young children. They enjoy playing games and going on walks or to the park.
Show Shiba Inu (狗猫 ショウブ)
These dogs are larger and heavier than the other types of Shiba Inu. They are quieter and more focused than the other types. They are quite independent and headstrong, which can sometimes be a problem for owners. They do not make very good guard dogs since they are not very aggressive and will often run away from trouble rather than confront it.
Professional Shiba Inu (狗猫 シャイバイン)
These dogs are the smallest of the lot and very agile. They have a desire to hunt and will happily chase down small animals and vermin if given the chance. These dogs are also used by hunters to sniff out animals and other scents.
These dogs are very intelligent and can learn several different tricks. They are good for people who want obedient dogs that will obey commands most of the time. They have a fearless nature and will not hesitate to defend their master if necessary.
Shikoku (四国) Small Dog
The Shikoku is a small Japanese dog breed. They are rare outside of their home region. They are known to be quiet and friendly dogs who get along with children and other pets. They are considered to be good watch dogs since they will bark at strangers.
The Shikoku was originally bred to hunt small game such as rabbit and pheasant. Now they are kept as pets or to guard houses and farms. Owners who live near wildlife take them hunting with them since the dog will keep hunters aware of any nearby animals.
Japanese Tosa (東サー)
The Japanese Tosa is a powerful and aggressive dog breed. They were originally bred to fight in the blood sport of dog fighting. They have been illegal in most places for several decades. There are still some illegal dog fights that take place though, but not as many as there used to be.
The Japanese Tosa is a very large breed of dog, they can reach over 2 meters tall and weigh over 90kg. These dogs are not pets, they were bred to be fighters and as such they have a vicious nature. Unless properly trained, they are very dangerous and will attack anything smaller than themselves.
The Japanese Tosa is descended from the English Mastiff and the Bulldog. The Japanese military used these dogs in World War 2 to protect military outposts in hostile territory. They were also used to evacuate wounded soldiers from the battlefield.
These dogs are used by some police forces to track criminals or search for drugs. Even with proper training they are still dangerous and will attack on command. They are still used in illegal dog fights and people keep them as guard dogs.
Nihon Ken (日本 犬)
The Nihon Ken is the national dog of Japan and one of several ancient Japanese breeds. Its name comes from the words Nippon and Ken. Nippon is an older name for Japan. Ken means “dog” in Japanese.
The Nippon Ken is a medium-sized Spitz-type dog, similar to the Hokkaido breed of dog but larger. They have a thick, double coat that can be black, white or red. They also commonly carry a brindle pattern and a dark mask. They are sometimes bearded and can have curled tails.
The Nihon Ken is an ancient breed of hunting dog. They are still used for hunting to this day. They are enthusiastic hunters and will chase down anything from hare to deer. They are also good watch dogs and will alert their owners to strangers approaching your house.
The Nihon Ken gets along well with children but they can be aggressive with other dogs.
Sources & references used in this article:
The Dogs of Japan by F Junko – The East, 1972 – caccia.se
Millennial monsters: Japanese toys and the global imagination by A Miura – 2011 – books.google.com
Linking cosmopolitan and multispecies touch in contemporary Japan by A Allison – 2006 – books.google.com
Waiting for wolves in Japan: an anthropological study of people-wildlife relations by P Hansen – Japan Forum, 2018 – Taylor & Francis
Japanese sports: a history by J Knight – 2003 – books.google.com
Little Lions, Bull Baiters & Hunting Hounds: A History of Dog Breeds by CG Cleaver – 1976 – U of Minnesota Press